Sunday, 14 December 2008

They seep out of school - to what?

From Money, by Martin Amis:

Now they seep out of school - to what? To nothing, to fuck-all. The young (you can see it in their faces), the stegosaurus-rugged no-hopers, the parrot-crested blankies - they've come up with an appropriate response to this, which is: nothing. Which is nothing, which is fuck-all. The dole-queue starts at the exit to the play-ground. Riots are their rumpus-room, sombre London their jungle-gym. Life is hoarded elsewhere by others. Money is so near you can almost touch it, but it is all on the other side - you can only press your face up against the glass.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

poisonous flames pumping through my veins

Today we started our ride with Mt Coot-tha, which is not very uncommon, although it's been awhile since the last time I did it. The back-door ascension, my least favourite route, but the same as the one that I flew up with 104% of my "predicted" maximum heart rate in the Mt Coot-tha Cycle Challenge earlier this year.

I'm definitely a bit out of shape right now, but there's more to it than this. I've done this ascent so many times, and it has never, ever hurt so much. The lower slopes are usually pretty enjoyable, not too steep and I can keep the cadence up and start to get confident before grinding through the steeper corners and sections.

Today, the oppressive humidity had me red-lining from the start, but despite the term red-lining, my heart rate wouldn't even get over 90%. I slipped off MF's wheel and watched him get further away, I had my glasses fogging up from the humidity and my strained gasping for breath, I had poisonous flames pumping through my veins and chest. It felt like death.

Was it the humidity and heat? Last night's wine? Last night's food? Lack of sleep? Me being in poor form? Or a sad combination of all of these?

Cycling is for masochists.

Women and queers and children / cry when things go wrong

I'm still reading Amis & Son and found a reference to a verse Kingsley Amis wrote, and managed to track it down thanks to Rosie Bell:

Women and queers and children
Cry when things go wrong
Why me? - not him! You're horrid!
Always the same old song.

The usual sort of men
Who hold the world together
Manage to face their front
In any sort of weather.

With rueful grins and curses
They push the world along;
But women and queers and children
Cry when things go wrong.